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How long do you spend hunting?

Published on August 24th, 2021 by Euan Kennedy | No Comments
Worker looking in a giant filing cabinet with a giant magnifying glass

One of the most tedious aspects of modern work is hunting down information, documents, or emails that you can’t easily track down in your workspace. There’s that phenomenon where you are certain you’ve just recently seen what you’re looking for, but its location now eludes you. And if you’re like me, you can’t let it go and end up searching in circles, covering the same ground over and over.

Insights from a nearly decade-old McKinsey study still ring true, suggesting that workers spend about 20% of their time “searching and gathering information”. A day every week just looking for things.

Google not only set the standard but also calibrated every internet user’s expectations about search – I start to type what I’m looking for, and I’m already seeing relevant results – but have enterprise applications really done this well? Isn’t it alarming that it’s probably quicker and easier to search and find detailed information on the internet about an obscure rock band from the post-punk era than it is to find an email about the project you’ve been working on just last week, from within your own organisation’s data?

How long and how often do you spend hunting just to find the things you need to progress the real tasks of your day?